Experiencing Great Restaurants and Delicious Libations

Archive for October, 2012

Katsuya by Stark – Miami Beach FL (preview)

Grand Opening in early November

In the SLS Hotel South Beach 1701 Collins Avenue Miami Beach FL

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Toured September 11 2012

Acclaimed Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and Philippe Stark created this Japanese restaurant in the new SLS Hotel South Beach. Located in the former hotel ballroom space, this “stark” two-story high space is accented only by an occasional bright red chair in a sea of white chairs. Although the restaurant was not open, and there was still some detail work to be done on the room, you could get a good feeling for what the space will be like when it is open and serving sushi. In the dining space there are two large photos, one of a japanese woman with a purse and the other of a japanese man with a bowler hat. These photos have amazing detail ( look at the woman’s hands when you are there ). The most dramatic feature of the space are the eyes, the amazing eyes of a geisha above the sushi bar – a brilliant touch.

I cannot review the quality of the sushi, as the restaurant was not open at the time of our tour, but I look forward to going back after the Grand Opening.

The SLS Hotel South Beach (link to my blog post)

Katsuya Website

The Bazaar by Jose Andres – Miami Beach FL (preview)

Grand Opening early November

In the SLS South Beach 1701 Collins Avenue Miami Beach FL

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Toured September 11, 2012

The Bazaar by Jose Andres is a very sophisticated mish-mash of elements. Unmatching table lamps, chairs and even sofas fill the two-story space and somehow it all works, and works well. The far side of the room has the serving kitchen which is a counter and back bar that runs the length of the room. In the middle of it all is the focal point of the room – a chandelier. This is not just any chandelier, this is a huge custom-made chandelier. It is the omnipresent element in the room, and my least favorite thing in the room actually. It reminds me of a seashell encrusted giant octopus, with its tentacles holding up traditional lampshades providing mood lighting for the space. Maybe the effect is different at night, but in any case I would not sit underneath it.

The Bazaar by Jose Andres – website

Yuca – Miami Beach FL

501 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL

Visited Septamber 10, 2012

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After walking down the Lincoln Road Pedestrian Mall looking at all of the dining options, I selected Yuca – Young Urban Cuban American restaurant. The menu was interesting, the service was excellent, and the ambiance was a contemporary study in black white and grey. Enchilado de Camarones – I assumed “Shrimp Enchaladas”….but the waiter explained that the cuban take on enchaladas is not like the mexican version that he thought I might be expecting. He was right, and it was delicious. Basically the entree is fresh shrimp prepared with chiles in a white wine and tomato sauce, served with white rice and fried plantains. It was spicy and delicious. Of the many options we had along Lincoln Road, I think I chose the best one, I highly recommend it.

The Yuca Website

Lena – Ann Arbor MI

Visited September 15, 2012

226 South Main, Ann Arbor MI

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A fairly recent addition to the Ann Arbor restaurant scene, we stopped in for dinner after a Michigan Football Game. Luckily we were able to get a table…the last table available before a wait list was started.

The service was really good, and the food was really good as well. We had been warned that since it was new, the word on the street was that they had a few things to work out, but we found nothing suggesting that the staff or the food had any “opening night jitters”. I had the scallops with brown rice and fava beans. The scallops were seared perfectly and overall the dish was delicious.

Lena’s Website